That is among the first impressions I got when I walked through the press gate door, past security, and then out of an elevator taking me to the press box at new Yankee Stadium.
It is some kinda place.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t look as big as I thought it would. There are six levels of seats from right field to left field and I am sitting in the second level, overlooking the huge scoreboard in center field. I wonder if my wife, Becky, would allow me to purchase a big-screen, HD screen like the one in CF.
My seat is just to the left of home plate, or, as they say on the South Side of Chicago, a seat where a writer can actually “see the game” as opposed to sitting far down the right field line. I have been there once and promised myself never to go back there again, unless the Mariners are playing the White Sox in the playoffs. That’s not likely. The Sox aren’t very good.
A tear or two were shed on my final stop on the subway. Old Yankee Stadium is still standing, looking like a grand old lady getting ready for the wrecking ball to show up at any time. The grass inside the facility is gone and the outside walls are covered with a a netting material that will be used, I guess, to keep the demolition from hurting someone nearby. It looks small to the new Yankee Stadium.
The walk between the two stadiums to the Gate 4 press entrance brought back memories of 1971, when I first walked into the old Yankee Stadium. Now, that was something special. The metal braces that restricted the view of many seats were there, and there must have been 30 or 40 of them. The press box was small and the elevators were slow.
The dining room and working area were hubs of activity and it was a lot easier to work in the workroom after the game than take the slow elevator back to the press box.
The really old Yankee Stadium had the facade all the way around the stadium, just like this new one. The newer-than-the-old one but older-than-the-new one stadium lacked most of the facade.
First impressions are good. Now, it’s down to the clubhouse to get some work done — and more pictures to take.
As you call tell, it is raining here, which canceled the Mariners batting practice. The Yankees got the pre-game swings in, but the heavens opened up around 5:05, about 15 minutres before the Mariners were supposed to stretch. Manager Don Wakamatsu called it “home field advantage.”
The first post-Beltre lineup has been posted and, as expected, Chris Woodward is manning the hot corner in tonight’s series opener against the Yankees.
1. Ichiro, R
2. Russell Branyan, 1B
3. Jose Lopez, 2B
4. Ken Griffey Jr., LF
5. Mike Sweeney, DH
6. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
7. Chris Woodward, 3B
8. Kenji Johjima, C
9. Ronny Cedeno, SS
P. Brandon Morrow
— Jim Street